UD Student Deeply Concerned about Violence in South Sudan

By Montgomery, Jeff | Telegraph - Herald (Dubuque), December 26, 2013 | Go to article overview

UD Student Deeply Concerned about Violence in South Sudan


Montgomery, Jeff, Telegraph - Herald (Dubuque)


The leaders of six East African countries will travel to South Sudan today to try to advance peace talks and end 10 days of violence.

All Paul Both can do from afar is try to raise awareness among Americans of the conflict.

"When things happen in a foreign land, sometimes we become naive," he said.

Both, a Dubuque resident, left Sudan nearly two decades ago. His home village is now part of South Sudan, a country created just two years ago.

In July 2011, Sudan's mostly Christian and animist south seceded peacefully from the Arab, Muslim north after decades of civil war, creating South Sudan. Analysts cite that as a notable achievement of President Barack Obama's first term, and the new country has been lavished with international aid and investment to help establish itself.

But South Sudan also has been plagued by corruption and ethnic tension, which burst into the open after President Salva Kiir, a member of the Dinka tribe, fired his vice president, Riek Machar, in July. Kiir accused Machar, a member of the Lou Nuer tribe, of plotting a coup.

Fighting spread this month to half of South Sudan's 10 states, tens of thousands of people are seeking shelter in or near United Nations bases, and regional analysts said the number killed in the country probably was already in the thousands.

For Both, one of the most troubling aspects of the ongoing crisis is that, here in America, very few people seem to grasp what is going on. …

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